As students across the city head back-to-school, more than 28,200 higher education students also return to universities across Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park, members of TECOM Group PJSC, for the fall semester. International and regional universities are amplifying programmes in entrepreneurship, creativity and providing spaces for creative programmes in line with current employment trends for the 2022-2023 calendar with a host of community events, new workshops, and themed seminars to promote future-proofed knowledge and skills as well as networking with industry experts.
Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park are home to 27 academic institutions, including regional campuses by globally renowned organisations such as University of Birmingham and the University of Manchester – both of which ranked in the top 100 universities in the QS World University rankings 2023. The city’s strategic location within the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, paired with its emerging reputation for internationally accredited universities, are raising Dubai’s profile as an attractive destination for higher education and talent development. The Emirate even ranked as the best student city in the Middle East in the QS Best Students’ Cities Ranking 2023.
As of March 2022, the complete community at the two education ecosystems – which includes the 28,200 students – represent more than 80 countries, including India, Pakistan, Saudi and the wider GCC, comprising more than 85% of the student body. Students from the UAE make up the remaining 14%.
The universities in Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park are continually evolving their curriculum and courses to meet the current and future job market. From promoting entrepreneurship and innovation through university-led incubators and TECOM Group’s in5 to a growing interest in digital media and technology, students can explore a range of subjects and activities to bolster their skills for the future of work.
In 2022, Middlesex University is introducing programmes in sectors such as digital media, brand management and cybersecurity to meet industry demands. Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Middlesex University and Director of Middlesex University Dubai, said: “We have continued to update our curriculums so that our students learn how to apply the latest industry insights from their fields to real-life scenarios and become 100% employable once they graduate.”
The university has also seen consistent interest for courses in Law, Psychology, Business and Accounting and Finance, as well as creative industries, for which the university has launched dedicated facilities.
At the University of Birmingham, recruiting has been especially strong for newly added post-graduate programmes in the fields of technology, medicine, and business. Professor David Sadler, University of Birmingham Dubai Provost, said: “The University of Birmingham is extremely proud to have established ourselves here in Dubai. Having recently opened our new campus, we continue to invest in growing our student and staff population to fulfil our long-term vision. We are committed to being part of the continual development of the education landscape in Dubai and the pursuit of quality education and research to support Dubai's overall strategic ambition for the future.”
Courses in Computer Science, Computer Engineering as well as Communication and Media have witnessed growing interest in 2022-2023. Michael Eberle, Head of Marketing at UOWD, commented: “The quality of education is a high priority for UOWD and we hope to achieve this through carefully-curated curricula and academic courses that are designed to build students’ careers in line with market requirements. As the first international university in the UAE, we shoulder the responsibility to offer students top-class education through innovative learning spaces and state-of-the-art labs and equipment at our Campus of the Future. UOWD is future-focused and readies its students to meet the intensive labour requirements of today and the world of tomorrow. We are a locally accredited and internationally recognised university which operates at the highest standards of education.”
Affordability in Education
To promote affordability and ensure a wider pool of talent can access world-class learning opportunities, universities at both education ecosystems are providing merit-based scholarships to students. The University of Birmingham offers a 40% scholarship while Middlesex University provides a range of grants and scholarships, such as the Academic Excellence Scholarship which is up to 50%.
University of Birmingham Dubai’s incoming students can choose from a variety of financial support options to cover their whole program, from foundational and undergraduate to graduate levels. The Dubai campus maintains strong ties with the original campus in the UK, allowing Dubai-based Year Two students to participate in an exchange program at the UK location whilst maintaining their scholarship.
A Lookback at 2021-2022
The previous year was especially significant for Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park as several academic institutions expanded curricula and resources to give students access to practical learning opportunities. To push research in data, technology, and achieving net-zero, the University of Birmingham launched its ‘Living Lab’ campus in Dubai International Academic City in collaboration with Siemens, a milestone event attended by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai
Amity University Dubai, which marked a decade in the education ecosystem last year, unveiled an innovative Artificial Intelligence Lab where students learn about the rapidly expanding field of technology.
Middlesex University Dubai also inaugurated its campus extension at the education hub with a high-profile ceremony, simultaneously celebrating 17 years of providing world-class UK higher education in the UAE. The milestone made the British institution the first international university in Dubai to offer a multi-site campus experience, in combination with its flagship campus in Dubai Knowledge Park.